Open [Sakel Event] A Sky Unseen (Salara/Open)

Sakel Event Number 2

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Sakel Event] A Sky Unseen (Salara/Open)

Postby Syllyssandevanna on July 24th, 2017, 2:18 am


Summer 53, 517 AV

Dark brown eyes watched the midnight blue man dress in a huff, "Oh don't be ssssuch a ssssourpusss."

The young Akalak man glared at Deva's naked form, curled upon her bed, "What's the point of petching if not to finish and..." He stopped, and Deva smirked.

"And what? Make a baby? Passsssss. The point isss you're beautiful and fun. Let'ssss leave it at that." Then to help his ego, and possibly get him to come back another night, "Besssssidessss, it'ssss not my fault you have the sssstamina of a dozen men."

Deva saw the slight lift in the man's spirits at the compliment. He'd be back in her bed before too long. "Goodnight Deva," as he stepped out her door. Deva could see the glimmer of sunrise peaking in, "Good morning, Archinal."

And with the door clicking shut, she was alone once more, sated and rolling around in her bed, trying to get comfortable. But she still had too much energy pent up, the lovemaking invigorating her rather than putting her to sleep. Quickly dressing, a loose dress draped over her shoulders and a pair of sandals, Deva was soon heading for the door, to watch the sunrise finish over Laviku.

As she crossed that threshold from home into the open air, the expected sight of the reds and oranges of Syna's daily rebirth were missing, replaced by darkness, with the flicker of torch light. She was in a cave. A hand was clamped onto her shoulder, and she looked up, to see a dirty, bearded face wrought with worry and fear, was looking down at her.

"You don't have to do this Cassaia."

From her lips, a new voice came out, one that didn't belong to Deva. "Yes, I do, Papa. Our people haven't seen the sky in two generations, it is time. No more waiting. The gods' must be done with their wars by now." Cassaia looked down, seeing the stone dagger in her hand, her body wrapped in the leathers of the creature's they shared these caves with. Looking over her shoulder, she could see the others that would be venturing topside with her, all volunteers.

Cassaia had no idea what to expect up here. A wasteland fraught with magical death and destruction? Perhaps a god would be standing there, ready to smite them all down. Her father nodded, and the guards began rolling the many heavy stones that blocked the entrance out of the way. Cassaia felt fear and excitement welling up within her. She'd be the first person from her cave to see the outside world. The stories told of many other caves like this one, many other peoples, all out of contact of one another. She doubted she'd be the first in the world, but a part of her hoped it to be true.

The removal of the stones was agonizing as her anticipation grew. As the last one was rolled away, her stomach roiling with moths, she stepped forward. Step after step into the literal unknown. The first thing that hit her was the smell of the air that rushed into the cave. It was so... clean, almost sweet tasting. It didn't have the acrid scent of dung chip fires and sweat from too many people living in a cramped space. And it only spurred her on.

Confident now, stone knife in hand, she moved out of the cave. Well, almost. The way was blocked by roots, having grown over the stone. Cassaia ripped at the roots, and wriggled through them, most of their strength gone now that the stone had been removed. Finally, she stumbled, spitting some dirt from her mouth, Cassaia realized she was topside. Her eyes grew wide at the alien landscape. The sky was dark, but not dark like the cave without fire. And it was dotted with little diamonds that sparkled.

"Wow..."

All around her were towering... things. They didn't seem to move. And there was one right next to her. Bare feet carried her across the rocky ground, and she placed a hand against this thing. Its surface was rough, but very different from the stone she'd been surrounded by her entire life. It reminded her of the roots they used for fuel, food, and a million other things. But... sturdier, stronger. Her eyes cast downward, seeing that this thing ended in the very roots she thought of. This thing provided the roots that her people had survived on, among other plants, mushrooms and moss and the like. If anything deserved to be a god, it was this.

She knew many of the stories elders told, but couldn't recall anything to describe this. Turning back toward the cave, Cassaia looked to see who else had the stones to join her out here. It was exhilarating. And she could only laugh in glee. How long had such a magical looking world been kept from them, because they feared to even look? How long could they have breathed this delicious air? To see these diamonds floating above? To give thanks to the root givers?

Never again.

Cassaia knew she'd never step foot back into those dirty, disgusting caves. She'd sooner die. This was her world now.


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[Sakel Event] A Sky Unseen (Salara/Open)

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on July 31st, 2017, 2:22 am


It was a beautiful morning in Riverfall, perhaps one of the best yet. Syna was peeking over Laviku’s shoulder with her own bright smile and Salara was glad she’d risen early to see it. Out and about with no destination in mind she wandered across the tiers through neighborhoods new to her. She wasn’t the only one up and about as a few, likely more inclined towards purposeful goals, passed by with pleasant greetings. Strolling down one street of many she hears a door open to her right. Lifting a hand in neighborly fashion to the slim woman with tousled brown curls standing in the threshold, light eyes meet dark...then there was orange flickering in the darkness and it felt like home.

Her big sister and Poppa were trying to convince one another one last time before the stones were rolled back for the first time in decades. Callian would have just as gladly taken Poppa’s side and stayed; but Cassaia’s encouraging stories had convinced her that she didn’t want to be left out. Besides someone a little more down to earth would have to keep an eye on her dream-filled sister. Their mother would have wanted it that way. ~Mother?~

So Callian screwed on her courage through trepidation as each stone was quickly rolled away. Who would have thought getting through the barrier between Here and There would go so quickly? Before the last stones were turned she ran to her father fighting back tears so he wouldn’t fret more for them, “We’ll be ok, Poppa. We’ve got each other after all and you have always said that is all we would ever need.” Standing tiptoe she presses a kiss to his dirty cheek then follows her sister and the others Out. Just before passing the opened barrier to crawl through dangling roots she turns to wave, feeling gladdened even through sadness as her father returns it, somehow knowing she will never see him again. ~Father?~

Turning to face this new world with her stone dagger clutched tight in her hand she feels overwhelmed as the ceiling disappears into shiny pinpoints of light far above. As a child she’d gotten lost in the tunnels and had stumbled across one distant cavern where flame sparked glitters like these above her, but even then they were much closer. Cautiously she walks up as her sister reaches out to touch the shadowy silhouette of one of many great columns stretching far above their heads. They reminded Callian of the moisture formed stone pillars that grew drip-by-drip from floor and ceiling in other underground caverns, but these seemed to grow only from the soft, porous ground. ~Sister?~

While watching for anything that might seem dangerous she whispers, “Listen how noisy it is, Cassaia!” The very air seemed alive with small sounds near and far and not from echoes. “Each and every noise is distinct and comes from everywhere.” Her eyes and ears were confounded as even the plant life moved and made noises, whispering and quaking in the sweetest smelling breezes. This place seemed far gentler than what they had anticipated, what they had been told to expect, but Callian wasn’t fooled. “We don’t know the dangers here and if everything moves and makes sound how will we ever know before it is on top of us?” She clutches her stone blade more tightly speaking to good reason, “If this is perfect then there will be as imperfect a side for us to see as well!”

As if punctuating her words a chorus of hoots and howls give chase in the distance followed by a high pitch shriek that ends abruptly. Gooseflesh raises across her arms as she realizes all of this made her feel very, very small.
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[Sakel Event] A Sky Unseen (Salara/Open)

Postby Syllyssandevanna on August 3rd, 2017, 2:43 am


Cassaia's eyes fell on her sister, a spitting image of herself only a head shorter, and the both of them so of their mother, and she smiled. Striding confidently up to the younger girl, her smile quickly shifted to a frown as she heard her sister's scared and timid words. Her eyes narrowed scornfully, "We've only lived as worms! Everything has always been on top of us! I want to be one of these things up here. If you want to go hide in the dirt, Little Grub, go. I will not."

The other explorers rolled their eyes. They'd lived around the pair long enough to have heard them arguing many a time. Cassaia stormed away from her pessimistic sister, refusing to be held back by fear and superstition anymore. She resented her father, the elders, everyone that spoke ill of this world above. She resented having been born in that dark hell. Their mother, Calliope, had died down there during one of the frequent cave ins. She wanted nothing more to do with that world.

Clutching her stone knife so tight that her knuckles turned white, she moved through the columns, straight through some shrubs, straight into the heavy fog that lingered over the area. She swung her arms through it, thinking it was like the especially thick webs of spiders that lived in the deepest parts of the caves. But it didn't stick to her. It was like smoke, but cool, wet to the touch. Laughing now, she spun through this cold-smoke whimsically, until a root caught her foot and she fell.

Landing chest first into the dirt, she grunted, more annoyed than in pain. Eyes opening, she found a pair staring back at her, and she screamed, startled. Scrambling backwards, she held her knife out in front of her defensively, hand shaking in fear. But the owner of the eyes didn't move. Or rather couldn't move. For the eyes didn't belong to a living being, but rather a statue.

It was incredibly detailed, the finest craftsmanship. The man was carved, shown to be crawling, a hand outstretched, fear upon his helmeted face. He wore fine armor, that even though it was of stone, was so expertly carved that it seemed to shine, just as the real thing might.

Cassaia reached out with a hand, keeping her knife held next to it, and touched the stone man's face. It was stone. It didn't move, there was no life in there. She relaxed, laughing at her foolishness for being afraid of a statue. Patting at her chest to calm her beating heart, her eyes were cast upward, just as a small breeze pushed through the fog. Her eyes grew wide as the clearing, bathed in moon light, became visible.

There wasn't a single stone man. There were dozens, all fleeing from a stone arch, down a steps overgrown with roots and moss. They were all armored, armed, all in various states of terror. Cassaia wondered who would carve such a terrifying work of art. Moving over to the next closest one, after the first she encountered, she found a stout, bearded man, with a feather engraving upon his armored chest. This statue was most impressive, balanced on a single foot, upon a step, in a full sprint. Next to the standing foot, something caught the girl's eye.

Bending down, she found a heavily rusted short sword. Gingerly grabbing it, Cassaia picked it up. It was a lot lighter than she'd expected. Covered in brown rust, it didn't seem to really be usable as a proper weapon, but still held its form well. Eyes scanned the bumpy surface, until she found a similar feather engraving in the hilt, partially obscured by the corrosion. Looking back to the statue before her, she found herself wondering if this sword was his. Glancing at a few other statues, she saw different engravings upon their armor, but this man had the only feather.

Her eyes grew wide. If this sword belonged to this man, then that meant this was no work of art at all. These had been people. And now they were stone. Panic now set in, was this the work of those magic addled gods that forced them all underground? Stepping back a bit, she wondered just how many people had been killed into statues?

Papa had told her that his mother and father were children in a city near their cave when they were sent underground. Was this the city? Were these the people that didn't make it to the caves? Cassaia needed to know more, but didn't have the courage to take another step forward. Not alone.
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[Sakel Event] A Sky Unseen (Salara/Open)

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on August 9th, 2017, 2:50 am

‘Little Grub’ it was all Callian could do to not stick her tongue out at her sister. The age-old answer to the mocking nickname that Cassaia had always used to gode her little sister into something that more often than not didn’t bode well for them. It nearly always worked though, because deep down the young girl wanted to be more like her sister, brave, carefree and always looking forward. In the long run they balanced each other well, carefree overlapping cautious, but who would ever suggest such a thing?

But things were different now. No time for childish antics. And there goes Cassaia stomping off in a huff but this time into the unknown. They were on their own in an unimaginable new world. Unimaginable New World, the words caused a shiver down her spine. It felt scary and exciting at the same time. “Hey, Cassaia! Wait up!” she whispers loudly trying to follow her sister’s fading form in the cool thick air. One tick she was right before her and the next Callian was reaching out to place her hand upon her sister's shoulder but it was the rough, damp surface of one of the plant columns instead.

Sounds were confusing through the dense air, muting her sister’s laughter, making it seem to come from all around. Wondering if she was going in the right direction, Callian pushed her way through thick vegetation when a crash and Cassaia’s scream stopped her dead as it cut directly through the silvery air and straight into her heart. Her teeth gritted, with knife held ready the young girl swallows the courage that had nearly escaped and moves quickly but quietly as she could into the strange mists muttering, “I knew it. I just knew it. Not out of the cave a full bell… Blessed Semele, keep us safe.”

Desperate to reach her sister, she stumbles from among the pillars as a gentle waft of breeze blows away the shroud of misty darkness revealing an area lighted in silvery glow. Drawn to the source of the light, eyes widen in wonder at the sight of a pure bright orb, a great eye peering down upon them through the last vestiges of misty air. Her entire life she’d heard old folktales of the great love between Leth, the moon and Syna, the sun. Could this be the face of the god injured in the great cataclysm that had driven her kinfolk underground? It had been told that Leth and Syna were no longer part of the world since the Valterrian, so his presence must surely be a good sign?

Feeling more optimistic, Callian, looks about to see what the moon’s light had revealed. There was Cassaia nearly across the clearing facing away with a sword in her hand. She was standing amongst many oddly posed statues and seemed to be comparing the blade to the statue. Feeling much relived and hearing the efforts of their fellow adventurers still stumbling through fog filled trees, Callian moved to join her sister. But soon her steps faltered as she too began realizing the truth of the living stones.

The milky moonlight made their features seem perfect but up close she could see their weathered look. Many of the poor epitaphs were cracked and broken. The one before her, a handsome young man whose face still screamed in terror, clutched a rusted dagger in one fist while the other lay sprawled but broken on the ground beneath. Laying the warm of her palm against the cold smooth cheek, she wonders aloud, “Do you think we know their kin?” Her chest heaves as she turns away suddenly fearful that she would begin to recognize familiar features.

“How terrible it must have been.” She looks across the masses without focusing on any one, “Remember since we were littler we wondered if any of it were true? What if they had gotten it all wrong? How could our people be so fearful? At least now we know they didn’t get it all wrong.” Looking up to her sister, seeing her differently in the pure, clean glow unshadowed by harsh torch light she knew she didn't want to let her down. "We lived through this all those years ago so surely more than us did too. Let's..."

'Damn Ivak's bloody balls!' Anything she may have added was interrupted with the arrival of the first of others in their party. Each stepped out of the fog singly or in pairs and every one added their own cries of horror, despair, or anguish at the macabre scene.

All but one, Rhainie, one of the other women of the party, didn’t step out of the fog.
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